I know schools are almost out but I am still sending them all an email. Why not, they can either give us time before school lets out in June or work us in next year. We have to try something; I mean come on really? Do these schools want to do what Salem, Oregon did and wait until their students are killed before they act, when they could have done something and maybe save a life. I get that they will not know if they saved a life or even several lives but that is the point. Better to save a life or two or three and never know it than do nothing and have students die when they had the means to potentially prevent a death or two or three by letting us come in and say what we can and hope it works.
When you think about it, letting us come and talk with their students will have the side effect of saving the parents, community, and other students the heart wrenching pain of having to deal with a trauma that truly never ever goes away. It will save parents from dealing with a potentially uncaring legal system that may or may not decide to seek the justice that is due for those deaths. Trust me, when I say that every parent that has buried a child because of an impaired driver wants that justice and are discouraged and disappointed in the DA’s and politicians in their regions who do nothing or worse do everything they can to brush the whole thing under a rug somewhere. It is sad that the school district can do something but they do nothing until it happens in their school when they themselves could have helped prevent a death.
This time I am sending an email to both the school Principles and Super Intendents in the local area. I will share who responds and who does not.
This is the email we are sending; it is basically the same as last time, I just made a few minor changes.
To Whom It May Concern
My name is Laura Fugere and my husband’s name is Doug. Our family and I are longtime residents of Yamhill County. We have been a volunteer for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for several years now and am writing to you to ask if you would be willing to allow my husband, myself, and another representative from MADD to come speak at your school to share some facts and stories pertaining to impaired driving. The goal is to reach the younger generations and encourage them to make smart choices and understand that their choices, right or wrong, could have lasting consequences.
Here is the short version of my story…
Shanny graduated from Yamhill-Carlton High School in June 2013 and left for Navy boot camp the following July.
On July 8, 2015 my 20-year-old daughter, IT3 Shantel Fugere came home on leave. My 16-year-old son and I picked her up from the airport at 9 am and by 5 pm she and her friend were dead. Shanny and her friend, Jake were killed by an unlicensed, 17-year-old DUII driver (high on cannabis) while on their way back to my house. The impaired driver served 4 years of his 6.3-year sentence.
Our goal is to save more families from the trauma we went through while reminding your students that they have good choices they can make to protect themselves and their families from that kind of trauma.
I am a school bus driver and I have always told my students “I can’t force you make the right choice, but if you make the choice then you own it and take the rewards or consequences that come with that choice.” I have always been a firm believer that there are no bad kids, just bad choices. It is what we learn and how we deal with the outcomes of those choices that matter.
My hope is that they take away from this an understanding that their choices can make a difference. They can perhaps save another person from Shanny and Jake’s fate as well save themselves from a lifetime of regret and anguish.
If you are willing to let us talk to your students then please contact me at 503-852-5550 or email me at email@example.com. We will need about 45 minutes to an hour for our presentation. We are asking you to be proactive by letting us visit before something happens instead of post-actively and inviting us after someone dies.
Doug and Laura Fugere
Here is to hoping they all respond in the positive.
Be safe everyone.